Cider-Braised Chicken With Apples and Kale
4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 tsp country-style Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 pink-skinned apples, cut into 1/2" wedges
1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/2" wedges
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups fresh apple cider, divided
1 large or 2 small bunches curly kale (about 1 pound), stemmed, torn into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp tarragon leaves (optional)
- Arrange rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Season chicken all over with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, then rub with 1/4 cup mustard, making sure to get mustard under skin.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heatproof high-sided skillet or heavy braising pan over medium-high. Sear chicken, skin side down, until golden-brown, about 8 minutes. Turn chicken, then arrange apples and onion around chicken. Add wine and 1 cup cider, then transfer to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/2 cup cider, 1 Tbsp. oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a large pot over medium; add kale, cover, and cook until wilted. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, divide kale among plates.
- Transfer chicken, apples, and onion to plates with a slotted spoon. Heat remaining liquid in skillet over high. Add cream and remaining 1 tsp. mustard and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
- Spoon sauce alongside chicken and kale. Garnish with tarragon, if desired.